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"You asked why I was spending so much time with her. I’m teaching her how to trust — to love — for the first time. It’s slow, hard work, but it’ll be worth it in the end. The first time is always the hardest, especially for those who don’t know where to begin."
Carleigh met Henry’s searching gaze over the fence. She wasn’t sure if she was talking about the horse anymore. Somehow, she got the feeling Henry had never allowed himself to be vulnerable enough to accept love, even from his family, and that was the saddest thing of all. How long had he been shutting himself off from the people around him? Some of her compassion must have showed on her face, because right before her eyes, the harsh lines that had relaxed during her story appeared again. He was shutting down, and a part of Carleigh cried out at the loss.
He shrugged, as if her explanation was of no concern to him. "I didn’t really come out here to talk about the horse."
"I figured." Carleigh tilted her head, studying him. "Why did you come here?"
"Do you mean that question in the universal ‘why are we all here?’ way?"
"I’m serious, Henry."
"I gathered, Carleigh. That’s the trouble with you, you know. I’ve noticed you’re always very, very serious." Carleigh tried not to fidget as his gaze swept her body. "Except for the other night, that is. The other night, the only thing that was serious was the heat between us."
She lives in the wilds of a Northwest Ohio college town with her husband and three small children where she consumes above average amounts of coffee and dark chocolate and spends way too much time on Twitter.
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